We Are Gay UK

TV REVIEW | Rupaul’s Drag Race season 11 episode 5: BEAST!!

Okay … this episode was a little confusing as … it wasn’t really about anything.

via GIPHY

Yes, there was a ball – a Monsterball even. But something felt off.

Much as I love Drag Race, this year it seems hard to connect to the show. It isn’t Ru’s fault: he is doing wonderful. He really seems to have found his groove back, harking back to his excited self from earlier series. More involved and actually part of the judging team.

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No, the error seems to lay in the editing which seems intend on focusing on things that don’t matter much and contestants who seem to care more about making good TV and talking heads instead of actually BEING ON DRAG RACE!!

This time last year I knew the contestants and felt part of it all. This year it seems we are only allowed to know a select few. A few weeks ago I was rooting for A’keria Davenport but she’s so rarely featured I had completely forgotten about her until she was included in a talking head this week. Same for Plastique Tiara and some others.

It’s really distracting having to go “who’s that? Oh yes …” even five weeks in. Despite it working with fourteen last year, maybe having fifteen queens is just too many, as it’s harder to connect with all of them. Having the narrative revolve around only a few of them doesn’t help either.

So what happened this week? Well, mainly a surprising amount of Alyssa Edwards references which made many people (including me) expect she would appear in this episode. She didn’t, though Trixie Mattel did. The All Stars winner led the contestants through a mini challenge. The challenge was turning yourself into a doll that could befriend Ru’s new Rupaul doll. Meaning that for once it truly was Rupaul’s best friend race. Ra’Ja won.

Then the Maxi Challenge: the Monsters Ball. Now I’m always a fan of the ball episodes, but I prefer them later in the series when we can really focus on the final 5/6 queens getting ready for their big moment. When the one queen that can’t sew has a wobbly bur regains themselves. And then Rupaul returns reminding them: ya … erm … you also have to do a song …

This week there was no song and because we had to feature 33 looks in one episode we hardly saw any workroom activity. Though we did get a huge amount of Silky chanting something about a runway and some more insight into the “Branjie” (Vanjie and Brook Lynn) relationship.
It’s a shame as the queens conversations often make the show even more than the challenges and fashion.

In Untucked Nina West once more showed why she is this years Latrice or Chad when talking about LGBT rights history and why we need to learn from the past. I would have loved to see this conversation in the main show.

Then over to the runway. So 33 looks … a bit much and after a while it’s hard to remember all of it, making guessing who will be in the bottom difficult. In the end the Brook Lynn won while Shuga Cain and Ariel Versace ended up in the bottom two. Poor Ariel lost as she fell halfway through.

A bit of a lesser episode compared to the earlier ones, hopefully next week will be better. Maybe Alyssa Edwards will turn up!!

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